1. The Amazon
Covering 9 nations, the Amazon rainforest is the largest and most bio-diverse rainforest in the world - accounting for over half of the world's rainforest.
A trip to South America isn't complete without visiting, but be quick before it disappears.
2. Inca Trail
The lost city of Machu Picchu is probably the most iconic picture of South America.
Most backpackers avoid the bus and take the traditional Inca Trail Route, arguably one the best hikes in the world.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Who hasn't looked at a picture of Rio and said "I want to go there"?
People often overlook the many other beautiful and interesting cities in South America.
Rio de Janiro, Brazil
4. Get High
South America has the highest percentage of civilisation living at altitude anywhere in the world, including the world highest capital city of La Paz, Bolivia.
The Andes are the spine of the continent; spectacularly beautiful and exhilarating to explore.
Aconcagua, The Andes, Argentina
South America festivals are usually accompanied by music, dance and colour.
You can't help, but join in and smile. Find South American Festival's Here
Rio Carnival, Brazil
A constant beat fills the air and your soul in South America.
From pan pipes and drums to rappers and DJ's, the music is ubiquitous and contagious.
The world is a beautiful place and South America is a prime example.
Glaciers, salt flats, deserts, mountain ranges, and of course the rainforests.
8. Oh... and Waterfalls
Forget to mention waterfalls in number 7, so let's make them number 8, considering South America has both the highest (Angel Falls, Venezuela) and debatably the most impressive (Iguazu, Argentina/ Brazil border) waterfalls in the world.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina/ Brazil
If you want to a learn a language go to South America. If you don't, you probably will without trying anyway.
It will almost certainly be Spanish, because nearly the whole continent speaks it, Brazil being the notable exception.
Border Crossing Sign
Easter Island and The Galapagos are two of the most famous islands in world for very good reason.
However there are many other lesser known islands surrounding the mainland, Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) and Los Roques (Venezuela) being two of the best.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
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Recommended For Further Information
South America On A Shoestring: Lonely Planet
If you are heading to multiple destinations in South America I highly recommend picking up a copy of Lonely Planet's; South America On A Shoestring. It provides the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, what hidden discoveries await you, where to stay, and how to optimise your budget for an extended continental trip...
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